tv The Story With Martha Mac Callum FOX News May 17, 2017 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT
terms of the investigation. >> bret: panel, thank you. breaking news again tonight. no online show tonight. continuing coverage right here on fox. that is it for us. fair, balanced, and still and still unafraid. he was martha. >> martha: once again, a string of explosive stories this week, there is breaking news again tonight. the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein, who wrote the letter that outlined the reasons for firing fbi director james comey has now pushed the russian investigation into a special prosecutor. that person is former fbi director robert mueller. now, the president has fought hard to put this story that he that he sees essentially as an emperor who has no close situation behind him. but now, just four months into his presidency, he has a special prosecutor's case. the deputy attorney general sent the statement out a short while ago. "in my capacity as acting
attorney general, i determined that it is in the public interest for me to exercise my authority and appoint a special counsel to assume responsibility for this matter. my decision is not a finding that crimes have been committed or that any prosecution is warranted. the person at the helm of this new probe, as i said, former fbi director robert mueller, well known to everyone in this country. he now has the power to have a grand jury, issue subpoenas, and to sign a slew of federal agents to this case. he became fbi director just days before 9/11. he served an extended 12 year term after his nomination by president george w. bush and now, he is back in the middle of it, and charge of an investigation that involves his successor, james comey. in moments, we'll be joined by fox news senior political analyst brit hume. but first, chief white house correspondent john roberts. good evening, john. >> good evening, martha. it is interesting to see the special prosecutor being named
now, a couple of days before the president has out on his first european trip. in the middle, as well, of increasingly shrill calls from democrats on capitol hill for a special prosecutor to be appointed. right at the time that the president who is interviewing candidates to replace james comey as fbi director, the timing of the notification that came from the justice department, we are told it was about an hour before the announcement was made public. it was about 6:00 p.m., so it was probably around 5:00 p.m. what happen right with the president was talking to either the former oklahoma governor frank keating or richard mcphee lee, another top official at the fbi about the job to replace james comey. now, for the white house, this is kind of a two way sword. it gives democrats off their back but then, the same time, as you mentioned, just three months into his presidency, a special prosecutor has been named to
look into a lot of the dealings surrounding the trump campaign. this is different, we should point out, then the special prosecutor, special counsel statute under with ken starr conducted that five year long investigation into the clinton administration. that statute was allowed to expire. special prosecutors and appointed by top officials of the department of justice, in this case, rod rosenstein. it is also interesting to see that just a week after andrew mccabe, the acting director of the fbi, said we have enough resources to carry out this russian investigation, if rosenstein independently, he is the one who is in charge of the rest investigation with jeff's sessions recusing himself, saying, i think it is best that a special prosecutor be named here. what the white house is going for is even though mueller has all the power of a u.s. attorney, ken subpoena, cam can impanel a grand jury, we assume that will happen, he is a hard nose investigator who goes to
the facts of the case at hand. and unlike somebody like ken starr who was always more of a political operative as he was an investigator, may just pursue the russian investigation and not go off pursuing different tangents come as ken started for five years. >> martha: john, thank you very much. joining us now, brit hume. brit, good evening to you. your thoughts on this big development this evening. >> i have always thought that these special councils, special prosecutors are dubious ideas. but while it is a dubious idea, it's a good appointment. bob mueller is a universally respected, has reputation as a totally straight shooter is widely recognized. he is the kind of grown-up who, in that job, may not feel compelled, as some previous special prosecutors have, to find a crime, whether one turns up at first or not. in other words, i don't know that robert mueller is a kind of guy who will turn into captain ahab pursuing the great white
whale. remember the case of the special prosecutor patrick fitzgerald who was named to investigate the leak about -- in the valerie plane case. remember that? he found out almost immediately that it came from the deputy secretary of state. but he continued to investigate long after that. he tried to catch karl rove in a perjury trap. the investigation was way too protracted and went too far afield. that is why people worry about special prosecutors. there is also the question of accountability, which it sounds from this announcement, as of mueller will be accountable to the main justice department. >> martha: it is interesting. this came from rod rosenstein, which it would have to, as we have established. if you look back over the last couple of weeks in terms of his involvement in this, there was a moment when the letter came out that he said that jim comey was being fired. the white house then said, it is just because rod rosenstein is
new here on the job and he took a look at all of this and decided that he had to go. he pushed back on that. then, the president said that it was his idea, he had planned it all along. it may be that rod rosenstein wants to remove the politics of this and is pushing back a little but by doing so. >> rosenstein, by the way, holds the job that when excuse me, bob mueller was named to be fbi director back in 2001, he was holding down the job that rosenstein now holds. so, that's an interesting bit of history there. i think the key here is as we look at this, i don't really know how to assess this as regards to rosenstein's efforts to get his name off, get himself off the hook is the man behind the comey firing or whatever. it seems to me that he made a goat and compelling case why comey was not the right man for the job at this time.
we'll need to be later contradicted by the president, in terms of the president's own motivations. i will say this about bob mueller. he is 72 years old. he has had a very distinguished career as a prosecutor, deputy attorney general, a u.s. attorney for a time. of course, had a strong career as the fbi director himself. he doesn't have a lot left to prove. he will need to mail some big named kuna skin to the wall, in order to prove himself. he is capable in the way that a lot of special prosecutor seem not to have been, to go into a case, look for it, if there is no compelling evidence of a crime, to let it go. we'll see. >> martha: if that's the case, should the white house welcome this as a way to deal with that? does it to free up a little bit of memory on their hard drive to move forward with some other things? speak at the usual effect of the appointment of a special prosecs
for a period of time. everybody can say these matters are under investigation, we have a new prosecutor leading the case. lights let him have a chance to do his work. it may slow down. the white house will get some breathing room here. it would be exceedingly wise, it seems to me come over the white house to embrace this, do speak well of the appointment appointment, and offer full cooperation. whether the president will be willing to do that, he has been feeling rather put upon in recent days and is saying so, said some of the coast guard academy. it remains to be seen. it would be the wise thing to do under these circumstances. >> martha: so far, he has not tweeted about this. he has sort of gotten burned on that, as you say, over some of these recent news stories. they had been hammered, brit, all week long. what they once thought, the appointment of a special prosecutor that would have just been a horrific development,
made this thing drag on and on, may not be some form of relief, which is kind of, you hit your head against the wall long enough, it feels good when you stop, right? speak of the history of these things is, the relief when you're dealing with a special prosecutor might be temporary. >> martha: it can't go on for years and years. >> if you get a straight shooter, the investigator will say so. i think mueller is a kind of man who will do. >> martha: looking at the trump presidency, as we have pointed out, it feels like a lifetime already, no doubt, those have been working in the administration probably feel that way to some extent as well. less than four months and, a story that he wanted very much to go away early on, he called it a hoax, he said it was cooked up by democrats who need a reason for having lost. there is nothing here. and there is nothing there that we know of yet in terms of evidence.
it is striking that it has had the traction to hang on, given those realities. >> two pieces to this, remember, martha. the major piece of this, to determine what influence the russians had in their attempts to have an impact on the presidential campaign on our political system. that was always job one. a secondary piece of that came into being when there were accusations, it must be added, without real evidence, of collusion between the russians in the trump campaign plan for the way everyone acts in washington, the first part of that investigation, it has been any clips. but that is the main piece of what director mueller will be asked to do. whether he will find the evidence of collusion between the trump campaign and, or truck himself and the russians, obviously, remains to be seen by
the president seems fairly confident that there is none. we'll find out. in the end, he is going to have to come forward with something. it may be -- the fbi investigation, as we know, martha, has been a counterintelligence investigation. that is to say, the fbi acting as an intelligence agency to find out what the russians did and how they did it. now, there was sometimes become criminal investigations if crimes are found. you are not going to have russia indicted. if you do, it would be ridiculous. we'll see what happens. we got a long way to go here. it will -- it is likely to be quiet for a while. the white house will appreciate that. in the history of these things, it serves as a warning that it may not last forever. >> martha: they may get a chance to inhale and exhale for a few hours. it is worth remembering that the most recent part of the story is the conversation that happened between donald trump, the president, and jim comey of over
whether or not he was going to pump up this investigation and to move on. that part of the story is with us. >> martha, we'll find out all about that because you know that at some point comey will testify about it on capitol hill. >> martha: he has plenty of invitations to do that. thank you very much. >> thank you, martha. >> martha: here now, judge andrew napolitano joining me on the set in new york. what do you make of this tonight? >> i agree with everything that brit said. this is a two edged sword. it relieves republicans of the angst or in congress of the angst over what to do about the steady drumbeat of bad information, potentially violative of law, coming out about the white house, which has come out now for a couple of days in a row. it gives the white house, as brit said come a little bit of breathing room. but this is a very, very serious
prosecutor and investigator, universally respected, nearly universally respected. certainly, both sides of the aisle, who will not stop with anything or anyone. he will convene a grand jury which will meet in secret. to the subpoenas will be served in secret. if the subpoenas are not adequately complied with, they will have a federal judge assigned to them to issue search warrants, which will be served by fbi agents. he has almost an unlimited budget. he has as many resources as he needs from the fbi and he has total and complete independence of the white house the end of department itself. >> martha: the justice department should have had that all along. if you ask yourself, why would you need that, when all the things you listed, the justice department should have had it at the disposal to begin with. >> we don't know the nature and the extent of the investigation that went on under director comey and has continued since his departure. criminal investigations, as well as intelligence investigations, are supposed to be kept below the radar screen.
the only time we got progress reports was the investigation of hillary clinton. the progress reports were part of the reason that comey is no longer in the job. we don't know how far the fbi has gotten. but we do know that everything that has accumulated, both intelligence and criminal, is now in an office with bob mueller and his team. i may be the same investigators under andrew mccabe -- >> martha: they will never again answer to andrew mccabe or who runs the fbi. >> correct. they want to answer, we know that jeff sessions, they want to answer to rod rosenstein, and they certainly won't answer to the white house. do you remember the instance in the bush administration when jim comey threatened to quit? the number three person in the justice department, over an effort to get john ashcroft to sign an authorization. guess who threatened to quit with him. bob mueller. you have that type of son, respectful of theally constitution, dedicated to the
task at hand. >> martha: thank you. good to see you. let's bring in catherine herridge, who has been covering this throughout our chief intelligence correspondent come alive in washington tonight. what is the very latest? >> i just got off the phone with a former senior fbi executives. he says to me that mueller is very independent. he is directed. nt is tough as nails. that is a reference to how he handled the transition with the fbi after 9/11 come from a crime-fighting organization, the bank robbing since coming to a counter terrorism, counter intelligence organization. he said that mueller is a very different personality from james comey, the former fbi director. he said that mueller is someone that who will have total control in this investigation. if he requires additional -- airborne. the debate club. he look at what he asks for and
he will not take know. in addition, this former fbi executives noted that this is a real win for rod rosenstein, the deputy attorney general. he said that it helps restore some of his credibility because his memo made him, and the words of this official, complicit in the firing of james comey. finally, he feels that there is some significance to the semantics, the language that is being used tonight. they believe that the use of special counsel versus special prosecutor is really kind of a win for the white house because it doesn't have that language that implies that a crime has taken place here, martha. i can say to you on a personal note, having covered robert mueller for their 12 years that he has served as fbi director, he is someone who has been through the fire and has been tested, especially in the post-9/11 period. something that is often lost on people, aside from the fact that he is a career prosecutor, he is
also a decorated marine. he has that kind of military toughness, as well. really, no-nonsense individual. someone who, when we celebrated the key anniversaries for the fbi during that 12 year period, we interviewed him at length. he doesn't do a lot of interviews and he talked about why the scene of the fbi fidelity, bravery, integrity, are really meaning something to this day. he is a guy who feels it in his gut. this is what we can expect in his role as special counsel. >> martha: i rubber those interviews that you did with him and he is very reserved, very serious. it was a unique opportunity to get inside his brain a little bit, on how he thinks. you touched on something that i brought up with brit, which was the rod rosenstein element to this. it was reported that there were tensions when it was presented, as if it was his idea to fire jim comey.
the initial reporting that he threatened to resign. he rebutted that as of that is not the case. however, the sent a very strong signal. the word we are getting is that the doj let the white house now after these orders were signed and gave them a little bit of a heads up about an hour before this announcement came out. your thoughts on that? >> this is a decision, based on our reporting this evening, that the department of justice really took ownership of and specifically, the deputy attorney general, rod rosenstei rosenstein. he disputed that reporting on the record that he had threatened to quit but nonetheless, he was somewhat tarnished by the whole episode with the firing of james comey. this allows him to turn the page, if you will, in terms of the russia investigation. i think it may also in the short term have the effect of allowing people to kind of exhale a little bit and take a pause because this has been hysterical around this issue.
and it looked like we may be on track for the identification of the administration's nominee for fbi director, as well. if this is a person who both parties can really get behind, that may draw a line temporarily under the episode. i would say, if i could, one more second tier, we are heading into next week. right before the memorial day break. based on what we see in the congressional letters from the senate and house committees oversight, they are looking to get the former fbi director james comey in a public setting testifying about the events leading up to his termination at his conversations with president trump. that seems to be on a very accelerated track. so, if we are having a pause right now, it looks like it is only temporary prey >> martha: [laughs] take a very deep breath. you may need to use that oxygen before we move forward. before i let you go, catherine, i heard you speaking on "special report" about the remaining traces of people who
are in the white house, when the president got this information, by the special counsel. are you picking up any sense of where he might be leaning? >> i don't want to get people bad information on that particular score. what i know for my reporting is that they are very keen to have somebody who can hit the ground running, someone who won't have a steep learning curve with the fbi, so, that tells you based on the experience of some very well-qualified candidates that they want someone who has career fbi service or they want someone with a justice department background who has worked extensively with the fbi agents. and the big benefit to tapping robert mueller to be the special counsel is this guy drew the map of the fbi, right? he doesn't need a road map to understand how things will get done. senator susan collins said that she is optimistic that he will be able to move along an investigation very quickly and there will not be a lot of jamming of the breaks with the work they are doing. >> martha: that is what the white house that they want for
this to move along. perhaps they will get their wish. thank you very much. doing to me now, congressman adam kinzinger, who just made an announcement that he had changed his mind and that he was now in favor of the appointment for a special prosecutor. i don't know if you knew what was coming, congressman, or if your timing was fortuitous, but you get what you wanted to. >> i think this is the right thing. i changed my mind yesterday. i had been saying, let the house work its will, let the structures that exist exist. yesterday, with the information that came out, and i saw this partisan hysteria. frankly, people on the left were yelling "impeachment." some on the other side, the right, were saying none of this is true, when we don't know anything. i came to the realization that an independent counsel, a special counsel, i can take the heat off of this, can detox the partisanship of it, because this isn't just about what it means for 2018, for president trump, or for 2020. this is about what this means for the institution of democracy
and people's faith in it, which is essential. i think this can help, hopefully to restore some of that faith. >> martha: you bring up such a great point. we have talked too much about the underwriting of institutions of most country and how much of a people lost in them. over the course of the last eight years, for better or worse, there was a lot of suggestion and reporting that backed it up in cases that there was too cozy a relationship between the justice department and the obama administration on a number of fronts. perhaps, this is a move that the white house might end up welcoming when they see the reaction to it. >> yeah, i hope so. >> martha: and the american people. >> absolutely. when this is done, there is going to be an adjudication of all the stuff that is happening. we'll get an answer either way. i think people can look at it and say, i believe that. maybe we have disagreements but i believe that, versus anything that i think of now, because of this hyperpartisanship, coming out of the house and senate,
looking at through the lens if you are you democrat or republican. this is too important for what it means from politics and an election in 2018. >> martha: one more question. i understand we have a statement from the white house. but you have a house briefing on monday. tell us about that. we'll be there? on friday morning. >> it looks like we'll be deputy attorney general rosenstein. i was just are alerted to this too. it will be bringing his up-to-date on what is happening, the special prosecutor --dash -o >> martha: behind closed doors. >> we can talk about special information. you never know with the talk what will happen. it's good to put us on the same page, let's take a deep breath and move on with the work of the american people. >> martha: rod rosenstein, he has established its independence with this move in a pretty strong weight tonight. thank you very much, adam kinzinger. good to see her. we want to go back to john roberts, standing by the white house. we understand that there has
been a statement released. what can you tell us? >> good evening. this is interesting, a statement directly from the president, not from a spokesman or press secretary for the president would seem in the statement to indicate that he is completely comfortable with this, that he shows no worry about the fact that this has gone into the hands of the special prosecutor as opposed to the deputy attorney general at the department of justice. the president said, "as i have stated many times, a thorough investigation will confirm what we already know. there was no collusion between my campaign at any foreign entity. i look forward to this matter concluding quickly. in the meantime, i will never stop fighting for the people and the issues that matter most to the future of our country." the statement before, the sentence before that last sentence, "i look forward to this matter concluding quickly," fits in with the message that has been coming off of the podium during sean spicer's briefings in recent days that the president would like this thing to move forward, that he wants it to be concluded swiftly. he wants a thorough
investigation, but that he would prefer that it could include quickly as opposed to dragging on and on and on. now, with the appointment of a special prosecutor, because these things happen in the past, brit hume mention fitzgerald, i mentioned ken starr, the statute is different now, sometimes, have a potential to go off in a million different directions. then, you get somebody like fitzgerald, who was merely looking for a scalp a lot of people believe, as opposed to getting to the bottom of the investigation. eventually ended up with scooter libby on the end of the stick. the president come at the surface at least, seems to be unconcerned with the fact that this could go on a number of different directions. i think there is great trust among some people here at the white house and at the department of justice. the robert mueller will conduct a fair and thorough investigation into the heart of the matter. some other people up and pointing out, in terms of this going down different roads, may be one of the roads that this could go down is that mueller
will start to look into the leaks of information, classified information, that have been coming out of the white house and the various agencies. i think that is something that people here at the white house in particular, the president, would like to have looked into. >> martha: he has made that pretty clear. to the extent that they can, i would imagine that they will push for that. we'll see how that goes. john, thank you very much. the president statement for a stress after the white house. chris stirewalt joins us now, mo eleithee is a fox news contributor and former dnc spokesman. gentlemen, welcome to you. i guess we start there with a statement. and chris come i want to get your thoughts on it. we have seen the tweet about there being tapes of this comey conversation, we have seen tweets about the russia hoax and now, at least for the moment, the tone of this statement from the dip president, where he says, as i stated many times, fh thorough investigation will confirm what we already know. there was no collusion between
my campaign and any foreign entity. i look forward to this matter concluding quickly. in the meantime, i will never stop fighting for the people and the issues that matter most to the future of our country." from president donald trump. your thoughts? >> that's a grown-up thing to say. in fact, the white house should, based on the president's prior statements on the statements of his staff, welcome this moment. they could not have a better person in this job than bob müller, who, from his bronze star in vietnam is in vietnam, to his years under the presidents of both parties, the fbi director demonstrated that he is in the man for moments like these and he is willing to do it and he will get to the bottom of it. as i told you the other night, there is no one in the united states of america who needs this investigation to come to a clear and conclusive conclusion more than donald j. trump. >> martha: noted a no doubt abt
that. i doubted that he imagine that less than four months into his presidency, he would have a special prosecutor on the russia case that has snowballed to such a great extent. that is where we are. mo, your thoughts and this appointment tonight? >> i think it's the right thing to do. i think this is going to quiet some of the tension for about half a minute. i think the president, the most measured we have ever heard him. you got to wonder, who wrote the statement, and two, if the tweets that come out in the morning after he watches the next 12 hours of cable coverage, are going to back that up, or if he will ratchet up the heat again. you have to wonder if this will be his tone from the beginning. will we be exactly where we are right now? from the tweet about the tapes, to the allegations that he tried to nudge comey or shrub comey in a different direction and fire him when he didn't do that, a lot of people can make the
argument that donald trump's words and actions have led us to this moment. this is a good decision, this is a good move, i couldn't agree with chris moore, that there is no one in this country who can do a better job than bob muelle mueller. he will take it for the facts lead him and not a step further. >> martha: i am wondering, we just heard about testimony, they want james comey to testify as well about this and to clarify exactly what was in his nose, which we haven't actually seen the memos, and the notes come across. i wonder at this point, when he is questioned in these different environments, could he say, there is a special prosecutor, there will be subpoenas, we will testify, but i can't address any of that here? >> nobody is a cage year survivor and player of the video game james comey. he didn't get where he was just
because he is tall. he is very good at doing this. i suspect very strongly that as he continues to slice away at president trump, and goes to these memos and these harmful things come out, and his associates put these things forward, he will be a k.g. player when it comes to what kind of testimony he gives. trump made an enormous mistake and humiliating comey as he did on the way out the door instead of just letting him leave gracefully. he had to rub his nose in it. comey is paying him back. do your point, when it comes back to what do you do, because there is a special counsel for this matter, comey is going to be very respectable of his colleague and friend, bob mueller. i'm sure about that. >> martha: i was saying that he poked a bear. president trump cap poking the bear over and over. the bear is extremely tall. [laughter] 6'6", 6'7"? he is standing on his hind legs grizzly bear.
he was poking him over and over with all of these tweets. and people are human. if you do that and you are going to get some backlash for it. there is not a presidential -- i would like to move you out of your spot and thank you very much for your services. mo, i want to put on the screen the length of prior independent counsel investigations. we have talked about this. iran contra prior to seven years. whitewater. four years. the valerie plame investigations went on for two years, longer than what it needed to go. how long do you think this one will go, mo? look into the crystal ball. >> [laughs] who knows. that is the thing. there are so many layers to this rancid onion that keep coming off. we don't know where this is going to go. that is why i think mueller is the right choice because he will take it where it leads him. he is not going to start chasing
shiny new objects. he'll stay focused. but the mandate is wide enough that as more layers come off of this onion, he has got the mandate to see where it takes them. this could go on for a while. this could be wrapped up very quickly. we just don't know that there is a lot of smoke out there are around a lot of people and mueller will have to check it all out. >> martha: we haven't seen fire yet. but that is mueller's job to do just that. before i let you guys go, the politics of this moment. if you are working in the white house, and we know that has been a tricky place to be over the last couple of weeks, what do you propose, chris? do you say, this is what we got for the special prosecutor, a couple days between here and the foreign trip, how do you try to reset? >> if you look at the way that donald trump acted during the campaign, which would be, things would have to be pretty bad
before he would listen to the staffers who said, get it together, tighten up, quiet down, behave. he did it after the incident, th incident, and these things would happen, he would be ready to listen. with the staff of the white house has to hope was of the president chase into after the worst two week span of his public life so far, that he basically is will willing to l. they have to have a good message for the public and for the boss about how to dilate and come but i let down, and control his way through the next difficult patc patch. >> martha: he talked about fighting and never giving up at the coast guard graduation. he talked about himself quite a bit, which maybe wasn't the best way to go. but when he talked about getting back to the business of the forgotten men and women in the country, that may be a good place to start. >> the problem with what chris said, and i totally agree with what he said, was that every time that happened to
donald trump, he wasn't able to stay there. he would get disciplined and behave like a good boy for a couple of minutes and then within 24-48, 3 days, doing the same thing. they could basically repeat this statement over and over for the next few days, maybe that gets him back into a group of some sorts. again, the slightest provocation sets him off on twitter, and a news interview, when he goes out on those foreign trip, who knows what happens. that code to send us into an even worse spiral. >> martha: one last question. in terms of the g.o.p., what is their response? there has been a lot of fissures in the glue that holds that a group over all this. >> the consensus statement would be, thank god almighty that this has happened. they have spent so much time hiding under their desks, there was a nuclear fallout raid.
[laughs] >> martha: -- may be. thank you, guys. thank you very much. good to see both of you. shock waves throughout washington tonight, as the doj just announced the appointment of a special counsel to oversee the investigation into russian meddling into the presidential election. what exactly does that mean? trace gallagher has the details from our west coast newsroom tonight. >> some of this has been touched on before but it's very important to give a step-by-step. after president nixon fired watergate special prosecutor dear archibald cox, the appointing of a special counsel went through some changing and sprayed in 1978 commit ethics in government act that led to special counsel being appointed by a three-judge panel. that resulted an appointment like lawrence walsh and ken starr for the bill clinton bill clinton-monica lewinsky case. in 1999, the ethics in government act lapsed in the power to appoint a special prosecutor mostly fell back to
the department of justice, the first time that regulation was used was a 1999 by then attorney general janet reno, who appointed former missouri senator jack danforth to investigate botched federal rate in waco, texas. in this case, attorney general jeff sessions has recused himself from the russian investigation, so, the power to appoint falls to acting attorney general rod rosenstein. it is also rosenstein who decides the initial scope of the special prosecutor, meaning whether or not former fbi director robert mueller's investigation would focus solely on russian meddling in the election or if it would also include the firing of james comey are the accusation that president trump asked then director of comey to back off the investigation of former national security advisor michael flynn. experts point out that once robert comey begins his investigation, he can pretty much take it wherever it leads. this mueller has the power to impanel a grand jury and
interview the president. in other words, he becomes a great decider. when he is not subject to the quote day-to-day supervision of the department of justice, the regulations to the attorney general does have authority to overrule the decisions of a special prosecutor. not only if special counsel given wide latitude over how the investigation proceeds, the timeline for the probe is also fairly open-ended and as you noted, open funded. lawrence walsh's investigation lasted almost eight years, cost $47 million. can a star's investigation, for years, $39 million. >> martha: i would love to see that itemized bill. thank you very much. here now with more, professor jonathan turley, a george washington university law professor. good to see you this evening, professor. what do you think about this news denied? >> there is a curiosity here, this actually could be good news for the tromp administration.
i said a year ago, that they should be asking for a special counsel. the only way that president trump could possibly clear his name, after his own comments and this controversy, would be for someone who was beyond reproach, beyond question to render the decision. had the justice department to resolve this question, many on the hill would not be satisfied, because of everything that has happened. this may be the price of hubris. this was almost inevitable when the comey memo hit. but effectively, what happened, the deputy attorney general gave the country a healthy dose of tylenol to bring this fever down. that also tends to prolong the sickness. as you note, these investigations are measured not in weeks or months but years. they tend not to be the most efficient way to go about something. but they are the way to do it if you want to make sure that the results are accepted. >> martha: this has been
called a hybrid appointment. because he is the former fbi director, he is outside but not that far outside. he understands the scope, the approach to these kinds of investigations. it is not like you are bringing in ken starr from the outside of the process, the people up and working at the fbi on this will now report to mueller and he will have the independence that he requires and that everyone seems to believe is the only way he would operate or take this on in the first case. you, interestingly, professor, have been shouting into the wind that there is no they are so fa far. you have a special prosecutor looking into something where we are not even sure if there is evidence that points toward any crime at all. where would you tell him to start? >> that's right. for many weeks, i questioned the need to have a special counsel because i didn't see the crime. i changed my mind when comey was fired. once the president did that, i
believe that regardless of the evidence of the crime, we needed something like an independent counsel or special counsel to render this decision, to take over this investigation. that is why i think this is the correct way to go, not just for the justice department come book but for the white house. they did pick someone unique. he is a company man. fbi agent and justice officials feel very comfortable with him. he has history with comey. they were obviously friends. they had a historic moment together at the bedside of attorney general ashcroft. that was a defining moment for both of them, when they basically stood in contradiction to the white house. so, i think what you are going to find is that he is not someone who is going to take lightly the damage that has been done to the image of the fbi or the justice department. that is the coin of the realm for the justice department, its integrity. i think he will be really
working very hard to restore it. >> martha: i think that in end of itself is very welcome and probably will be to most americans. people have lost so much faith in institutions. they have seen so many aspects of all of this so politicized that i don't really have much trust in anything anymore. they think of it as a republican administration, they will influence it. if it's a democrat in charge, they will also be able to curry favor with whoever happens to be under them at the justice department, which is a very sad situation. one of the things that are broad rosenstein will determine if the scope of this. what is in, what is out. does it include the conversation between donald trump and jim comey about being nudged to have a path on this that involves michael flynn. what do you think should be in the scope? originally, this was about the russians meddling in our election, then, it became something very different.
>> once again, i think that the white house should invite the broader scope. i don't see the basis for suggesting that what allegedly happened between comey and trump was an act of criminal obstruction. i think if that were investigated, it would likely favor of the white house in terms of the outcome, unless some other evidence comes forward, which it might. as to the scope, it's in the hands of a special counsel, given the mandate, the language of his appointment. he can easily include that and many other things. the other thing i would note, when you are investigating the russians, people ought to be a little cautious. a special counsel is like a live torpedo on the water. it can hit everything. the city is awash with russian money. there is a lot of democrats as well as republicans that have been hired by russian outfits under extensions of moscow. this is sort of a cottage
industry in this town for unity people be very careful when they asked for a broad scope because he wouldn't be able to say for certain who would fall under it. >> martha: i think that would be an aspect of that investigation that the president had the white house would probably welcome, based on some of the things that they brought up ago john podesta and the rest of it. we'll see. thank you very much. always good to have you with us. professor jonathan turley. here now is representative, the chairman of that committee has demanded that the fbi turn over all the documents it has a broad communications between president trump and the former fbi director. congressman, welcome, good to have you with us tonight. >> good evening. >> martha: what do you think about the news? >> martha, i was thinking about how the hillary clinton email investigation happen. you have the president obama saying nothing is moving along publicly. bill clinton meeting with the attorney general loretta lynch. we know that it was a slipshod
investigation, no grand jury used to get documents. yet, there is no special account, counsel appointed it, even though i thought there should have been. it was my judgment, if you read the actual regulation, it requires a criminal investigation. this had been a counterintelligence investigation according to former director comey. i didn't think there regulation had necessarily been triggered. however, i agree with professor turley. i think from the trump administration's perspective, having this done, whatever time it takes, being done with that, it will probably be better than continuing to do this through the media, and the democrats always engaging in hysteria. even though i don't think regulation was necessarily triggered, i think it is probably going to end up working out better for the president this way. >> martha: doesn't this and the investigation that are going on i'm a hell? those are still going to go on. you still have the potential for
the politics of my day in and day out politics to keep in the bloodstream, don't you? >> you do, but i think what has happened up until this point, there has been nonstop innuendo. there has been all of the smoke but really no evidence of any fire. when you talk about collusion with russia, first of all, collusion is not a crime. what they are basically alleging is a criminal conspiracy between trump's campaign and the russian government. in my view, why would you do that, to hack john podesta's emails? i don't think we have seen evidence of that. it strikes me as being something unlikely to have occurred. we will end up seeing matt now. i think you will see less leaking. i think the average american will care more what robert mueller says then what was some democratic congress mentos. >> martha: i would venture to guess that the average american cares more about tax reform, a lot more about health care. they are looking at people in your position and saying, the g.o.p. has control of the house,
seven, the white house, this is not what we expected. we didn't expect monthly spending over the russia situation. why don't you all just get back to work and let this take its own, and out of the special prosecutor has been put in place, can they expect that will happen? >> i hope so. if you are exactly right. the senate needs to produce a health care bill. i think they can do it. then, we move onto tax reform. we do the ethics reform to drain the swamp, we do things to build the wall. if you do that, that is what the average american cares about. >> martha: you have a lot of republicans who have sort of been voicing some serious concerns about president trump and about how much security he has right now in his position. what do you think about that? is this a moment for that? do you want them to get on the same page and focus on the work? >> i think that that is totally not even in the cards at this point. i think that people that are
saying that are not doing a service. i think we got to focus on our work. we do have the ability to do oversight, we we will get comes memos. by the way, i want all of comey's memos. i want his mom was about loretta lynch and hillary clinton. we have a role there. you now have far bowler and place. we have an agenda that we have to do. engaging in some of these visions to me is not productive to republicans to be doing right now. >> martha: are you going to subpoena documents with regards to the hillary clinton situation? >> senate judiciary committee has done that. we have not yet in the house, but we want to make sure we would get all of the memos. i think they are very relevant to that investigation. don't forget, there is an active ig investigation into not only director comey's conduct, but also former attorney general loretta lynch's conduct vis-a-vis the hillary clinton case. >> martha: that question was
raised last night with congressman trey gowdy. he suggested to us that there was quite a bit more to the decision by director comey to have to take ownership of that situation, that he was very much aware of more entanglement, perhaps, between the clintons and the department of justice, than anybody really knows about. can you imagine anything about that? >> i agree with him. we always suspected that. getting comey's memo or less may be able to flush that out, which i think would be productive. i do want to do it. the bottom line is, you can't explain how that case was handled as being a normal course of business. it was a radical departure of how these cases are handled. the american people have not been given a proper accounting of how it had been handled that way. >> martha: trey gowdy claims that if everyone knew the whole story, he says he does, they would cut james coming quite a bit more latitude in terms of the way he took over that
investigation. we stand by for more information on that isaac comes out. thank you very much, congressman desantis. here now with more, marc thiessen, former chief speechwriter for president george w. bush. zach buchanan, former c dnc. welcome to all of you. good to have you here. we just heard from congressman desantis. i want to start with a zach on this. your thoughts about this appointment of the special prosecutor? do you think this was a wise move? do you feel like it will get resolution? >> i think it was a very wise move. i think it was a long overdue move. i think it was a move that took basic evidence of interference by this white house into the investigation, to light a fire under this department of justice, to have a special prosecutor, sorry, special counsel, something we have been hauling core for a long time.
i do think it is only a first step, though. we have to remain vigilant, a special counsel is different than a special prosecutor. it is still within the chain of command of the term department of justice, we have to make sure that we -- there is not any further interference, got to make sure they don't cut off resources. we have to continue pushing for an independent commission, which looks at different things in this investigation, which is looking for criminality. >> martha: do you agree with congressman desantis that they should open us up to russian entanglements wherever they may lie? in washington? on the democrat side, republicans had? you are supportive? >> absolutely. john podesta's brother, all of that? >> they should definitely look into that because it has been debunked about a thousand times. >> martha: donald trump was a the same thing. >> he would be wrong. >> martha: and you would be right, of course.
>> zac's answer, which was very good, is exactly the reason why rosenstein's move is so good for donald trump. basically, the democrats have nothing left to say. he basically -- >> martha: he wants an independent, outside person. [laughter] >> the reality is, the trumpon r fire. the fact is, bob mueller is a completely professional guy, character and integrity, no one will question how he is doing the job. he will go about it quietly and professionally, he won't have press conferences, which means there is no room in the news environment for questioning it or raising issues. he will just do his job. if trump is right, he has nothing to worry about. he can go back to his day job, which is being the president. he can do that job instead of spending every day talking about
mueller and comey and what is happening with the fbi and russia. go do your job, go on your foreign trip, and let bob mueller take care of it. he will delude with integrity. the politics can be sucked out of it. >> martha: charlie? >> the fact, martha, that so many people on both sides of the aisle think this is a good idea, and i am one of them, to the point that donald trump thinks this is a good idea, to appoint a special counsel to this, i think reveals just how rain cap and treacherous this whole thing has become in washington. the whole thing has become so politicized. nobody has any -- none of that politicians have any credibility here on this. it has become a partisan witch hunt. i think the whole russia thing, from the beginning, is a political canard without any foundation whatsoever. fine. let's do this. let's go to the bottom of this. i don't think it will show people off, but i do think that we can have a couple of good things that come of it.
it could slow down at least some of the leaks, which have been so incredibly damaging. in my mind, just prove that the president has no real ability to control the leviathan on what has become our federal government. i think that it also come of the most important point is, the fact that it -- if it were to happen, donald trump could not have drawn a better card than to get somebody like bob mueller, who i think is very much above partisanship. he is a serious guy and certainly come at the end of the day, has infinitely more credibility than maxine waters, nancy pelosi, chuck schumer, or any of these people who have been politicizing every step of all of this. >> martha: zac, we don't know what the scope of the investigation is going to be, but we would assume that it will look into the michael flynn matter. we would assume that it will look at both sides of the
michael flynn matter, whether or not there was any collusion on his part, whether or not he was involved in anything nefarious. also, the unmasking of michael flynn's name, one of the few actual crimes that we know exists so far in the story. >> one, i am hopeful that the scope of this includes the possible obstruction of justice in terms of trying to shut down on the investigation by talking to comey. i hope that is true. that has not been specified yet. i do hope that that is true. but i do also want to go back to something that was just said. it is pretty ridiculous to say that there is no indication that there is any collusion, or that this investigation has employed anywhere. we know now, the grand jerry, it has been in panels and issued subpoenas. >> tucker: that doesn't mean
there is an underlying crime. that means that they have -- they are finding out if there is one. >> 100%. it doesn't say that there is a crime. but it also suggested -- >> martha: it means there is a ham sandwich. >> they thought there was enough in order to issue subpoenas, not once but twice, that we know about. we also know, i shared the desire for all of the comey memos to come forward, because it has been reported that it is not just about conversation that was concerning to comey about that. he documented several other conversations that were concerning between him and donald trump. i sincerely hope that those come out. >> martha: i would imagine they would want to see all of that. as you rightly point out, the word that we are getting is that there were many memos and magic there was a period of time, or different instances where james comey felt like he was having an uncomfortable conversation, something along those lines, we imagine we will see in these
documents. thank you very much, don't amend. good to see all of you tonight. thank you for being here. we want to go back and circle up with fox news in your judicial analyst judge andrew napolitano, who was shaking his head during the recent conversations. >> here is what is on my mind, everyone who wants to see those comey memos, you won't see them. they are now going to be subject to the special counsel. he operates under the federal rules of criminal procedure, which prohibit him from being displayed to the public. the first thing he will do is a panel by a grand jury, everybody gets a letter to preserve everything, written and digital. you don't supply anything to everybody because i look at it first. that includes the material subpoenaed by the senate and the materials submitted by the house. this will really ratchet down things waiting for an end result. the republicans want the end results soon. the democrats want the end result closer to the 2018 election.
that is going to be determined by bob mueller and the facts as he sees them. this will be a below the radar screen, bob mueller in charge come investigation. >> martha: if james comey had a desire to tell his side of the story, and his name was really trashed in many ways by the president after his firing, which i know you took some issue with, he will not get that opportunity. >> correct. he now knows that he will be a witness in a criminal investigation, and he knows that she should not say anything until he testifies before a grand jury or he testifies -- not testifies, but gives evidence to bob mueller's investigators, who used to work for him. >> martha: after they compile all of this, will they take these things in pieces, right? to the russians impact the 2016 election? were they hacking, did michael flynn have a new role, was there collusion? paul manafort will be brought
into it. >> remember the order that deputy attorney general rod rosenstein -- >> martha: john roberts is standing by. >> i was just talking to some senior administration officials about how this went down. when they got rid of it was coming from the doj, his entire senior staff went into the oval office of the president, that included the vice president, chief of staff, kellyanne conway, all of the senior staff, donald mcgahn, the white house counsel, saying the decision has been made that rosenstein is going to appoint a special prosecutor. the president i am told was very measured in his reaction to it. he said, that is a card we have been dealt. let's move on. in terms of analysis and all of this, the white house staff is looking at this as an opportunity to clear the decks of criticism that has been coming down from capitol hill in recent days, weeks, in fact, to pull the team back together again instead of being splintered in so many different directions and really focus on
the president's agenda. while there is the danger when you are point up a special prosecutor, this could go down a lot of different roads, the team at the white house white house, including the president, feels this is giving them an opportunity to focus on the future as opposed to trying to relitigate everything that has happened over the last few months. >> martha: john, thank you very much. john roberts reporting tonight from the white house, as all of this has transpired. once again, three nights in a row, a lot of breaking news for the white house to deal with. if indeed it becomes a moment, as we talked about tonight, for them to exhale a little but, try to get focused on their agenda, knowing that robert miller, who at this moment, has a lot of wide bipartisan support, to take this under his wing, is now going to do just that. he said that he will take and accept this responsibility in his statement. that is what he will have to do. i thank you very much for being with us tonight, as we have covered all of this breaking news. it has been a busy evening and
there is a lot more to come tonight because tucker carlson is going to speak with jason chaffetz it in the oversight committee and kellyanne conway, who will have the first live statement from the white house as tucker get started moments away. have a good night. ♪ >> tucker: good evening and welcome to "tucker carlson tonight." a little over two hours ago, the justice department announced the appointment of a special counsel to oversee the fbi's now famous russia investigation. attorney general jeff sessions has already recused himself from the matter. from here on out, the entire thing will be led by former fbi director robert mueller. somebody who knows a lot about both bob mueller on the history of special counsel investigation sums it up this way. bad idea, good choice. first, to the choice. mueller is an adult, not just because he's a 72-year-old former marine who earned a bronze star leading a breakable tune and vietnam.